Sidewinder with Rotating Turret for Short Bed Pickups

Custom Fit Fifth Wheel

Sidewinder Fifth Wheel Pin Box Coupler by 5th Airborne

Sidewinder Summary:

Now you can tow a fifth wheel trailer with a short bed pickup WITHOUT a slider hitch. AND it is now possible for pickup trucks with beds shorter than 6 feet (such as Ford Super Crews) to tow a fifth wheel trailer. You can use the clearance formula at the bottom of this page to see if a Sidewinder will work for you.

Note: It is not recommended to use a Sidewinder with a slider hitch.

When towing with a standard king pin, the fifth wheel trailer turns or pivots where the king pin is connected to the hitch. With the sidewinder, the truck and trailer are prevented from pivoting at the hitch. Instead the pivot point is located closer to the tailgate, creating much more space in between the truck cab and trailer on sharp turns. This extra space also becomes available for more cargo such as toolboxes which couldn't fit before. And the new pivot point makes the trailer track better behind the truck for even easier towing.

The Sidewinder is available in the Standard 16K, the heavy duty 19K, and the Fifth Airborne Sidewinder with Air-Ride in 16K. The Fifth Airborne Sidewinder allows you to get the benefits of both the Sidewinder and Fifth Airborne Air-Ride king pin. All move the pivot point 22" rearward.

detail of Sidewinder

How the Sidewinder Works

  1. Sidewinder Pivot Point - 22" behind the king pin
  2. Rotating Turret - king pin specific, it attaches to the pin box on the trailer
  3. Universal King Pin Wedge (not pictured) - prevents pivot at fifth wheel hitch
  4. Fifth Wheel King Pin - attaches to the hitch in the truck bed for towing
  5. Sidewinder Arm - is universal and available in 16K, 16K with Air-Ride, and 19K

What We Need to Know When Choosing a Sidewinder:

  1. Trailer King Pin type - The Sidewinder couplers are custom designed to replace the standard king pins on trailers, so we'll need to find out the part number of the pin box (king pin) on the trailer.
    • The pin box number is usually displayed somewhere on the pin box, either on a sticker or stamped into the king pin itself. If it's not there or worn out, the customer will have to call the trailer manufacturer with their VIN or serial number to have them provide the coupler type.
    • Because the turrets are custom designed, they simply bolt in place of the existing king pin - no drilling required
      • Existing hardware can be used when installing, but new grade 8 bolts are recommended
  2. Fifth Wheel Hitch Type - A universal wedge that will work on nearly all fifth-wheel hitches is included with the Sidewinder. However, custom-fit wedges are available for most brands of fifth-wheel hitches and are recommended because they provide a better fit.
    • Sidewinders should not be used with PullRite SuperGlide, Reese Trail Boss, B&W 5th-wheel trailer hitches that connect to a gooseneck ball, Colibert 208BW, and gooseneck to 5th-wheel adapters, including Draw-Tite and Bulldog Hi-Rise. Cushioned hitches may interfere with the proper operation of a sidewinder, and adapters that connect to a gooseneck ball can rotate around the ball, resulting in dangerous loss of control.

Clearance Formula for Sidewinder:

Use the formula below to ensure there will be enough space between your truck cab and trailer when executing a 90-degree turn.

(A + B) - C = Clearance

A = Distance from center of fifth wheel hitch jaw to truck cab

B = Length of Sidewinder arm (16K = 22", 19K = 22")

C = Width of trailer divided by 2 (to get half)

For example: With the 16K arm, if the distance from the center of the hitch to the cab is 36", 36" + 22" = 58". If your fifth wheel trailer is 102" wide, take half (51"), then plug in: 58" - 51" = 7" of clearance.

NOTE: At least 4 inches of clearance is recommended to safely execute a 90 degree turn.

Needed Accessories:

Air compressor (only on Fifth Airborne Sidewinder with Air-Ride) - the air bag in the king pin is adjustable and will need to be filled from time to time

Fifth Wheel Trailer Pin Box Matrix Conversions

The Fifth Gear Sidewinder and 5th Airborne Sidewinder are custom designed to replace the existing pinbox on your trailer. Use the tables below to help find the correct 5th Gear pinbox coupler for your application.

Note: Pinbox number will typically be located on a sticker or stamping on the OEM pinbox.

Trailer Pin Box
Part Number
Pin Box Type 16K Sidewinder
22" Long
19K Sidewinder
22" Long
5th Airborne Air-Ride Sidewinder
Youngs WeldingStandard ST500-SW16K ST500-SW19K N/A
Youngs Welding Extended ST500-SW16K ST500-SW19K N/A
Leland 7921 Extended ST400-SW16K ST400-SW19K ST400-5AS16K
Leland 7920 ExtendedST400-SW16K ST400-SW19K ST400-5AS16K
Leland 7910 Standard ST400-SW16K ST400-SW19K ST400-5AS16K
Venture CJ13517 Extended RP61450 N/A RP61452
Venture CJ13515 Standard RP61450 N/A RP61452
Venture CJ20517 RP61450 N/A RP61452
M&M 665 Extended RP61420 RP61421 RP61422
M&M 663 Standard RP61420 RP61421 RP61422
Lippert 1621HD Extended RP61420 RP61421 RP61422
Lippert 1621 Extended RP61420 RP61421 RP61422
Lippert 0719 StandardRP61420 RP61421 RP61422
Fabex 665 ExtendedRP61420 RP61421 RP61422
Fabex 663 Standard RP61420 RP61421 RP61422
RBW 7028 ExtendedRP61410 RP61411 RP61412
RBW 7019Standard RP61410 RP61411 RP61412
Lippert 1716Extended RP61410 RP61411 RP61412
Lippert 1116Standard RP61410 RP61411 RP61412
Lippert 0115Standard RP61410 RP61411 RP61412
Fabex 765Extended RP61410 RP61411 RP61412
Fabex 560Standard RP61410 RP61411 RP61412
Fabex 530Standard RP61410 RP61411 RP61412
Fabex 520Standard RP61410 RP61411 RP61412
Fabex 503Extended RP61410 RP61411 RP61412
Fabex 500Extended RP61410 RP61411 RP61412
Youngs Welding Straight 8x8Tube N/AN/AN/A
Youngs WeldingTube N/AN/AN/A
RBW 7027Tube N/AN/AN/A
RBW 7016-2PTube N/AN/AN/A
Lippert 0516 TubeN/AN/AN/A
Fabex 316Tube N/AN/AN/A
Fabex 314 Tube N/AN/AN/A
Fabex 300Tube N/AN/AN/A
Atwood AB-72Tube N/AN/AN/A
Atwood AB-34 TubeN/AN/AN/A

Questions and Comments about this Article

Gary C.

Can I lnstall a adapter on my Keystone Cougar 5th wheel so I don’t blow out my rear window on my GMC 2500 Short bed pickup when making a 90 degree turn ?

Reply from Chris R.

You should definitely be able to replace the pin box on your Keystone Cougar with a pivoting unit like the Sidewinder for cab clearance during sharp turns. It will depend on what model pin box you currently have as to the correct replacement. There should hopefully be a model number located right on the pin box itself. If you can let us know the model we will be happy to help further! In the meantime I have linked our complete selection of Sidewinder models for you to look through. 57123

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